U.S. Department of Labor Finds Mississippi-based Agricultural Employer Violated Guest Worker Visa Program Requirements in Florida
MIAMI, FL – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), H-2A Complete II Inc. – an H-2A staffing company providing workers in the Indian River and Highlands County areas of Florida and operating as H-2A Complete – has paid $47,154 in wages to 66 employees for violating requirements of the H-2A visa program.
WHD investigators determined the Southaven, Mississippi-based employer provided only dinner to workers, forcing them to buy their own breakfast and lunch, which caused their out-of-pocket expenses to exceed the amount stated on the job order that the staffing company used to secure the workers. The H-2A program requires employers to provide at least three meals per day at no more than the Department’s specified cost to employees.
“Agricultural employers that bring in temporary guest workers on H-2A visas must comply with all the provisions of the program, including all transportation, wage and housing requirements,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Tony Pham, in Miami, Florida. “When employers fail to obey the law, like they did in this case, their violations affect the welfare of their employees and create an unfair advantage over their competitors. We offer a wealth of compliance information readily available to help employers and farm labor contractors understand their obligations under the law.”
The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, confidential calls, or in-person visits to local WHD offices.
For more information about the H-2A visa program and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd, including a search tool for workers who may be owed back wages collected by WHD.
WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the nation’s workforce. WHD enforces federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.